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Friday, January 4, 2008

I feel pretty, oh so pretty....

In terms of makeup and beauty products, I tend to be very loyal. Once I find something I like, I stick to it for a long time before I decide to try something new. I tend to buy nice (re: expensive) makeup and then use it til it's all gone. My usual lotions and styling products, however, often come from the drugstore. In early December, I realized that I hadn't brightened up my makeup routine in almost 2 years and I was still struggling to find a good everyday body lotion and an evening face moisturizer. It was time to hunt down some new products!

A couple months prior I purchased new primer, tinted moisturizer, and translucent powder from Laura Mercier and I was very happy with it. After trolling around on their website, I saw that a regional make-up consultant was going to be at a local Bloomingdale's doing free makeovers. I woke up early and headed down to the mall with the hope of scoring an appointment and ultimately winding up with some fun new products.

I got there a few minutes before the event was supposed to start and even without an appointment, I was seated right away. A local make-up artist was tasked with talking to me to find out what I was looking for and then getting my foundation all prepped so the consultant, Heather Roddy, could come in and do the colors. I was there for probably around 45 minutes and most of that time was spent with Heather, who was awesome! She totally listened to me and gave me the look I was trying to achieve, not some crazy look that I'd never wear. She also made it very easy for me to watch her apply the colors so that I'd know how to replicate the look at home --- something I've never encountered at other make-up counters.

I was very pleased with what she did and purchased a whole bag of loot. I was even more excited over the next few days when I tried to duplicate my new look by myself and was fairly successful at it! Score! I've been using the new products for almost a month and while I like all of them, a few really standout:

Eye Basics: This is a cream primer for your eyes that dries to a powdery matte finish. It can be worn alone for a natural look, or underneath colored shadows to prevent creasing. I don't quite know how I lived without this stuff. It's fantastic!

Eye Liner: This is a powder that is applied wet with a small, flat brush. The gals called this "tight line", I'm guessing because of the very thin, precise line you're able to achieve when using this product. I was skeptical at first because I've tried MAC Smudge Pots before and it was a disaster. But, after watching it applied (both to the underside and topside of the lashline) and then realizing that even after wearing it for 12 hours it never smudged, I decided to try it on my own. I'm in love with this product!! The line it produces is perfect and once you get the hang of the application part, it goes on quickly and easily.

Stickgloss Palette: I have a hard time finding lipstick and gloss colors that I like wearing and this palette allowed me try a bunch of different shades to see what looked the best. It also has options for daytime as well as nighttime wear. The best part is that all the featured colors can be purchased as a stand alone product, so when the palette is gone, I can just re-purchase my favorites.

After having such luck on the make-up front, I figured I'd tackle skincare next. My friends T and the Monkey had commented how much they love Kiehl's products and while I didn't pay all that much attention at the time, I remembered their rave reviews and thought I'd check them out seeing as how I haven't been all that impressed with several recent drugstore purchases in this area.

I started out by doing a bit of research online so I could go into the store somewhat informed about their product lines. I was specifically looking for a heavy duty handcream and a good facial moisturizer to combat the dry skin I'd been having from all the chilly weather.

Going to the store right around the holidays was maybe not the best idea as they were out of a lot of their small-sized facial moisturizers (and the samples to boot), but the clerk gave me a great rundown of lots of their products and had me try a few out. I left with their Kiehl's Delights and a handful of the Ultra Facial Moisturizer samples and went home to give them a whirl. Long story short, I've been back another 3 times over the past month and I am absolutely addicted to their products!! The rundown of my new obsessions:

Lip Balm #1: My mom used to always use good 'ol petroleum jelly on her dry lips, but frankly, I just found it gross and gloopy. This is a petroleum based lip balm, but without the gloopy, gross feel to it. I put it on before bed one night and woke up the next morning looking like I'd have the most beautiful collagen injections and a pale pink stain applied to my lips. I've been sold ever since. By far, the best lip balm I've ever used.

Ultimate Strength Hand Salve: My hands have been uber dry and were starting to crack, but this lotion changed that overnight. Like any hand lotion, it leaves a bit of a film til it sinks in, but it leaves my hands buttery soft and it doesn't irritate any cuts or scrapes that I may have. The light eucalyptus smell is pleasant without being overpowering.

Creme de Corps: One of their signature products, this stuff is the most amazing lotion I've ever tried, hands down. Granted, it's very pricey, but my skin has never been this soft and smooth. I often have a problem with bumps on the back of my upper arms that no lotion has been able to smooth away and they have disappeared over the past 2 weeks with using this stuff. I slather it on right after getting out of the shower and as silly as this sounds, my skin just feels warm and taken care of after it's applied. It's practically scentless too, so it doesn't interfere with my perfume. Even at the end of the day, my skin still feels buttery soft with no dry flakes. If I could only use one skincare product the rest of my life, this might just be it!

Abyssine Cream +: I really wasn't looking for a face cream that tackled fine lines and wrinkles as I still think I'm a bit young to be worried about such things, but after seeing this cream applied and then literally disappear into a matte finish before my eyes, I had to try it. I hate applying lotion on my face, going sans make-up and then having that "shiny" look the rest of the day. I started using it just at night after taking off my make-up and it really does dry immediately to a matte finish, but still provides plenty of moisture to my very dry skin. I've been trying to hurry and use up my normal everyday lotion with an spf so I can get this cream with the spf for daytime use. I'm not sure how it's doing with minimizing any fine lines I may have -- if it's helping with that all the better --but the matte finish alone is enough to make me a huge fan of this cream.

Amino Acid Shampoo: This came in the original sampler pack I purchased and while I've only used it a handful of times, I am impressed at how my hair is left soft, shiny and full of body afterwards. This is quite impressive as my hair is straight and very fine, so a lot of shampoos I've tried just leave my hair heavy and oily. The light coconut scent is just icing on the cake. On my next Kiehl's run, I'm anticipating a nice, full-sized bottle coming home with me :)

As I've said before, I'm usually a drugstore girl when it comes to skincare, but these products have totally changed my way of thinking on this. Yes, they're pricey, but I am so impressed at how well they work and the huge difference I've witnessed in my skin, that I'm willing to cut back in other areas to make these part of my normal routine. A huge thanks again to T and the Monkey for the recs!! :D


  1. OOoooh, I soooo love this post! I'm a fan of Kiehl's stuff, too, especially the lip balm and the hand salve. I've been using the hand salve religiously in this dry weather. Soooo great!

  2. I'm loving this post! Thank you for all the reviews! I'll have to try this stuff out.

    *saves post*

  3. I'm also a big LM and Kiehl's lovah too! You should try their tinted lip gloss (in the little pots) blackberry is my fave :)

  4. Since you introduced me to LM's tinted moisturizer, I think we're even now. ;)

  5. Hmm, my make-up routine could use some spicing up. I will have to check out LM!

  6. I've been looking forward to this post ever since you posted the spoiler. We're definitely on the same track this year with new products. I'm going to have another Kiehls post coming up really soon....

  7. Ooooh thanks for the recommendations!

  8. whee! i am so addicted to kiehl's stuff. if you ever need your hair slicker/sleeker than it already is, try the grooming creme with silk. i use the abyssine eye cream and lip balm #1 regularly, too. i got pear and cranberry scented ones over the holiday - so yum, subtly scented, and not cloyingly sweet at all!

    i'll have to try the lm products. i love my foundation primer but am usually way too lazy to use it.

  9. LM's eye basics are part of my daily routine, too. i love that stuff more than cookies.

    well, maybe not.

    but this creme de corps you speak of? i've got a nords gift card just waiting to be spent on some o'dat.

  10. I am totally im the mimority I guess, Kiehl's products that I've tried have mever made such am impressiom om me, but maybe bc I have problem skim. Boooo. Although, I WILL check out that eyelimer if I cam mamage to get to a LM coumter at Mordies! How fum for you, shoppimg spree!

  11. Problem skin = use Kiehls Bright Moisturizer. I have problem skin and that shit is like viscous crack.

    BTW, soooo excited you love your products! Tater is right about that silk groom. My hair looked so fabulous at the Holiday Hoorah because I'd just used some when straightening my hair the day before.

  12. I had a "make-over" at a Laura Mercier event before my wedding, and actually loved the products and such so much that I did my own make up for my wedding with her products! That eye shadow base thing is amazing. I also LOVE her cream blush - it lasts all day long! what a fun post, i love product talk!

  13. My head is spinning. I'm feeling so much like an un-girl after that post. I know you guys all talk about this stuff, but I would be clueless as to what I'd need or use. Oh well. Keep looking fabulous! :)